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The nature and necessity of bone-deep love

May. 3, 2022—Bone-deep love calls us to live our lives out of the possibilities found in wholeness, self-reflection, justice, peace, a new heaven and a new earth, hope and not our shortcomings—that rest on greed, self-centeredness, avarice, coveting, despair. Amazing love moves us to grow in compassion, understanding, and acceptance of each other. A far better place to be morning by morning and day by day.

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No matter what the world hands us we give back love

Apr. 4, 2022—Somehow, no matter what the world hands us we give back love, we stand for goodness, we live our faith, we live with integrity. we live God’s grace large, we stand with the least of these, we build bridges of salvation, liberation, justice, joy, and deep spirit that can carry the depth and breadth of humanity over them.

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Scholars of economic justice from varied disciplines expand on Wendland-Cook Program’s mission in Academic Fellows Forum

Mar. 29, 2022—For the first time in its history, the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice has accepted three scholars into its year-long fellowship program, which focuses on matters relating to the intersections of religion, economic justice, class and labor, and environmental justice. The previous cohort in 2020 had a single fellow. During his fellowship, Jeremy Posadas,...

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Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness

Mar. 11, 2022—Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness. When done in community, we name that which is causing us to be tempted by despair with as much precision as possible and then begin to take steps to address—if not eradicate—that which keeps us from a more just world.

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VDS Dean of Admissions shares family tie with legendary Asian American activist Helen Zia

Mar. 11, 2022—Guest Story by Rev. Laura M. Cheifetz, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Vocation & Stewardship You are invited to hear Helen Zia, legendary author, activist and former journalist, speak here at Vanderbilt University on March 24. We will be welcoming her to the Commons Center Multipurpose Room (267 Appleton Pl, Nashville, TN 37212; 2nd floor) at...

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Public theology fellow leaves legacy of community building and support

Dec. 20, 2021—The Rev. Teresa L. Smallwood, who helped launch Vanderbilt’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative as associate director in 2017, is moving to Pennsylvania’s United Lutheran Seminary in January. Over Smallwood’s four years at Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Collaborative has hosted nearly 30 workshops and more than 20 fellows and scholars to advance racial justice...

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Preparing for divinity school: A reading list

Jul. 28, 2021—Guest post by the Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Vocation, and Stewardship So you’re going to divinity school/seminary. Congratulations! I absolutely loved my experience, and now I get to be present with people who are figuring out if div school is the next right step, which div school, and then be around...

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This is the first step not the conclusion

Apr. 20, 2021—A reflection from our dean, Emilie M. Townes Guilty on all three counts. These three counts can be—and hopefully will—be positive steps to not only police reform but to our very broken criminal justice system where the scales of justice are not blind but often tilted against the poor, people of color, women, queer, trans,...

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the power of words to harm and heal

Apr. 2, 2021—Emilie M. Townes Spring Faculty Assembly Presentation Delivered 1 April 2021 download a PDF of this presentation with its original formatting.   perhaps you are familiar with this childhood chant: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me i remember my teachers, grandmother, parents, aunts, and other mothers teaching it...

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A response to Atlanta area killings

Mar. 18, 2021—  by Emilie M. Townes, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society Hearts and souls reach out to the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities in Atlanta and beyond.  The senseless deaths of eight people, six of them Asian women, joins the list of massacres that are becoming a dominant narrative of our...

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